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Lankan troops capture LTTE bastion Mallavi

T V Sriram in Colombo | September 02, 2008 20:17 IST

At least 65 Tamil Tiger rebels and three soldiers were killed as Sri Lankan troops continued their offensive on the heartland of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, claiming that they have captured major portions of the key Mallavi town in Kilinochchi.

'Prabhakaran shoots people who disagree with him'

Security forces marched into the town after heavy overnight fighting, which spilled over to today morning as government troops cleared major portions of the small town, said to be the native place of LTTE [Images] Supremo V Prabhakaran's wife Madivadini.

"We have taken over about three-quarters of the area," an army spokesman said, adding that a few more adjoining vulnerable areas close to the town were yet to be cleared.

 India must recognise our freedom struggle: LTTE

The troops were hunting for remnants of the Tiger rebels manning the defences of the town. To show the government's advances, the army also released pictures of the town.

They said that the LTTE administrative office established in the town was also found during the operations. The Tigers' main supply routes' Vellankulam-Mankulam, Mallavi-Kokkavil, Mallavi-Nachchikuda and several link roads run across this central town.

 India must recognise our freedom struggle: LTTE

Heavy clashes were also reported from the nearby Nachikudi town in Kilonochchi.

In other major incidents, as many as eight tiger militants were killed in Andankulam in Welioya on Monday, the Media Centre for National Security said.

 'The LTTE is a freedom movement'

The bloodshed comes as government troops are pushing hard and deep into the rebel held territory, seizing key rebel Tiger bases and towns that had long been under rebel control.

With the fall of Mallavi, a government spokesperson claimed that Sri Lankan troops were just 12 to 15 kms outside the Tiger headquarters located in Kilonochchi.

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